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Advice on making a lateral move at work.

MrG

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A job recently opened up at work that has piqued my interest, and I'm considering applying for it. However, I'm a little conflicted about how to approach my intent to apply with my supervisors, and I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts/experiences on doing this.

A bit of information on my situation:

The position is in a different department. It techinically isn't a promotion, but it is a slightly higher pay grade, so I'd probably get a bump in pay. I'm happy in my current position - this isn't out of some desire to jump ship - but the open position is very interesting to me. It would require a lot of the same skills as my what I'm doing now, and it would also allow me to expand my skill set into other areas. Essentially, things are good where I'm at, but this might be a good opportunity for me.

To be honest, I'm not exactly certain what advice I'm seeking, but I know there are a lot of guys here in management. Basically, I'd like to hear how you'd like a subordinate to approach you in a situation like this. As I said, I'm happy in my current position, so I don't want to burn bridges or cause ill will, but I feel like I might regret it if I don't at least take a stab at this other job.

I'd also be interested in personal experiences from people who have been in my situation.

Thanks in advance.
 

Piobaire

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Will you answer to the same person(s)?

Scratch that: different department.

Okay, that clears things up. Do it carefully but explain why you want the move and that it has nothing to do with leaving the organization.
 

jenlain

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Your success or failure will be highly dependent upon the quality/maturity of your boss and the expectations of managers in your organization. If you have a mature boss and work in an organization that supports talent growth, you should feel free to talk to you boss and ask for their support/sponsorship in making the move (they may even get bonus points for "exporting talent"). Reassure your boss that you will provide a smooth transition, as their primary concern will be getting the work done in your absence. If you work in a crappy organization and/or have a boss you don't trust, hold off on the internal move (you will just create enemies) and plan your exit.

Good luck.
 

gnatty8

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Will you answer to the same person(s)?

Scratch that: different department.

Okay, that clears things up. Do it carefully but explain why you want the move and that it has nothing to do with leaving the organization.


Originally Posted by jenlain
Your success or failure will be highly dependent upon the quality/maturity of your boss and the expectations of managers in your organization. If you have a mature boss and work in an organization that supports talent growth, you should feel free to talk to you boss and ask for their support/sponsorship in making the move (they may even get bonus points for "exporting talent"). Reassure your boss that you will provide a smooth transition, as their primary concern will be getting the work done in your absence. If you work in a crappy organization and/or have a boss you don't trust, hold off on the internal move (you will just create enemies) and plan your exit.

Good luck.


Very good advice here. It's all in how you approach it, and all in the "quality" of your management. If you can convince them that the move is in your best interests from a development perspective, and they make the connection that a more well-rounded Mr. G is in the best interests of the company, they will support you. I've made calls on behalf of employees who want to do what you are doing, so it all depends on the type of manager you report to.
 

rexthedestroyer

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Ditto on it depends on the maturity of your boss and your ability to relate this new position as a net benefit for the company.
 

Rambo

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Does your boss know the other departments boss?

Is there opportunity for you to gain any of the things you might get by transferring in your department? If so, when you tell your boss of your intentions, do you think there would be any possibility that he'd offer you something else in your department as opposed to losing you?
 

BDC2823

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Let's be honest here. As much as you don't want to step on anyones toes or hurt anyone's feelings, you still have to do what's best for you. It sounds like this position would be great for you and that you would like it more than you're letting on. The bump in pay is great, but doesn't sound like the major motivator here. The new opportunity and improvement upon your skill set is what interests you the most I'd say. Plus, in my opinion, this would be better for you career wise as you can add to your overall resume of what you offer both on paper as well as in your personal vindication of yourself. The more diverse skills the better.

As for your question. I obviously don't have the experience of others. Have I been in a position of management? In this sense...yeah, somewhat, sort of. I had control but not complete control over those in positions below me and they had to report to me. I had one come to me talking about applying with other companies for different jobs. I encouraged him.

I think there are 2 ways it can be viewed. A manager may not be happy because he doesn't want to lose you if he thinks you're an asset. This is selfish and you're not going to really go anywhere anyways with this person having this attitude. Or a manager can be a bit sad that he may lose you, but knows that it's best for you and your career and although he doesn't want to see you leave, he will support your decision and even go so far as to help you along the way. If it's the former, well, you still have to do what's right for you and if he feels that way, he probably isn't the kind of person that would be loyal to you anyhow. If it's the latter, you've found a good friend and contact that you should keep as he'd be willing to help you out in your pursuits and you can return the favor as well.

Whatever the case, I'd say go for it if it's what you want.
 
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I think the best thing you have going for you is the absence of money-motivation. As per previous post, you are interested in this for the role and responsibility and practise area, and a pay-bump is a bonus.

Bosses like to hear these things.

Not knowing anything about your co....is it an organisation where such things get discussed with HR first, or line management first...
 

MrG

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Thanks everyone for the advice. Sorry I kind of abandoned this thread - I was crazy busy yesterday and didn't post at all.

Piob - So you wouldn't take issue with your subordinate saying something similar to what I said above? If they didn't leave, would it impact your relationship going forward?

Jenlain, Gnatty, Rex - The boss question is a big part of the internal debate I'm having. I know for certain there have been people in my department who have moved to other departments, and some who have tried unsucessfully, so I would imagine it's not frowned upon at the department level. I'm less certain about my division manager, given that I don't know of anyone who has made such a move from it. My boss is a pretty reasonable guy, though, so I'm hoping that he'll be amenable to it if I present it well.

Rambo - He probably knows the other department's boss casually, but I don't know of any ongoing relationship. The positions are too dissimilar for them to really try to adapt my current position to resemble the new one. The position I'm in now is a specialized position, the one I'm considering is much more broad, and it involves responsibilities that don't exist in my current department.

B - You pretty much hit the nail on the head. The money is nice, but the new position would likely lead to more opportunities than the current one, both within the organization and outside of it.

Matt - So you're saying that, from a manager's perspective, it's better to be motivated by advancement than money? That definitely makes sense. However, as a follow up to that, is there any element of insult for a manager if I go to him and a basically say "that position has more to offer than this one?" Or does that tie back to the issue Piob noted - it's all in the presentation?
 

Mr T

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I once took a downgrade to get the experience I thought I needed. That experience has paid off several fold since then.

I am now at a senior echelon in my career field and I try to push my subordinates into these situations to develop them. But most folks are happy to stay where they are doing the same job year after year. If your current boss can't immediately see the value in what you are trying to do then he isn't really vested in your development and you owe him no loyalty.

Frankly, two weeks after we leave any job people start forgetting about us. I am not sure it is worth your time worrying about it. Just do what you think is best.
 

Agnacious

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Make sure you identify the person or persons who can step up and fill the hole your departure would be leaving. The bigger the hole, or longer the ramp up time would be to fill your position, e.g. new hire, the more resistance your boss will have to willingly let you go.

Make it easy for him to make the decision you want and you increase the chances of a smooth transition along with gaining an enthusiastic supporter for the move.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by MrG
Thanks everyone for the advice. Sorry I kind of abandoned this thread - I was crazy busy yesterday and didn't post at all.

Piob - So you wouldn't take issue with your subordinate saying something similar to what I said above? If they didn't leave, would it impact your relationship going forward?


G, I work under the philosophy that, "Everybody leaves." The only question is when and how. If I hold a direct back, they are going to leave faster and leave with an ill opinion of me. If I help a direct grow, they stay longer, think better of me and my organization, and it's a win all the way round. I would probably make you help find and train your replacement (you might offer that) but I would never hold someone back.
 
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Originally Posted by MrG
Matt - So you're saying that, from a manager's perspective, it's better to be motivated by advancement than money? That definitely makes sense. However, as a follow up to that, is there any element of insult for a manager if I go to him and a basically say "that position has more to offer than this one?" Or does that tie back to the issue Piob noted - it's all in the presentation?
It doesn't have 'more' to offer, it has a different offering that is more in line with your career goals....and yes, that is partially in the presentation, but more importantly, as per your OP, it is also true.
 

Pantisocrat

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No one has your best interest at heart but yourself. Follow in the direction of your instinct.
 

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